Those stalled trains have been brought to you by our sluggish Legislature
Anyone who has ever ridden the T knows that it doesn’t do well in warm weather, it doesn’t do well in cold weather — it doesn’t do well in weather. As the Globe recently pointed out (“T’s latest estimate to upgrade hits $10b,” Page A1, May 14), that’s due to a stunning backlog in repair and maintenance. While you’re stuck on a stalled train, you might get to wondering why this state of disrepair exists. The culprit is clear: Our Legislature, for years, has refused to raise the revenue necessary for a world-class transit system.
We’re one of the wealthiest states in the United States — the money is there, but the political will to invest in our future hasn’t been. The Fair Share Amendment (a surtax on income above $1 million), which the Legislature will advance to the 2022 ballot next month, is a vital first step. But 2022 is a while away. House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka have promised a discussion of new revenue later this year, and we need to hold them to it. The longer our Legislature delays, the longer the delays we experience each day will be.
We peaked with Greatest Generation — now selfishness gets the best of us
The headline shouts, “T’s latest estimate to upgrade hits $10b.” Apparently, we are supposed to focus on cost alone, and not on our obligations to the society that we live in today and will leave to our children tomorrow.
Our grandparents acted otherwise. They are remembered as the Greatest Generation not only because of a war, but also because they met — indeed they exceeded — their obligations to the generations that followed. Did they shy away from building the interstate highway system? Did they refuse to build new public schools, libraries, and universities? Did they fail to support the transition of returning servicemen and women? They did this and more, including a New Deal and a Great Society. They worked hard, paid their taxes (the top 1 percent paid a much higher rate), and invested in our common future.
That’s what real greatness looks like.
As an aging baby boomer, I am embarrassed by our legacy, and that of our parents, as the “selfish generation.” Since the Reagan years, too many have valued their own comforts over the future we owe our children and grandchildren. I return from travels where I have found world-class public transportation and health systems, in countries many here refer to with disdain as the Second and Third World. We should all be embarrassed that our legacy is second- and third-rate infrastructure, and a society with a bleaker future than the one we inherited.